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Nancy Pearl Offers "Book Lust to Go"

By Rich Fisher


Tulsa, Oklahoma – On this installment of our program, we chat with our longtime book reviewer, Nancy Pearl (a former Tulsan and former librarian, now based in the Seattle area). This time, however, we're asking Nancy about her own book, not about the merits or shortcomings of other titles. In other words, Pearl's latest volume --- the hard-to-put-down "Book Lust to Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers" --- is our topic on today's StudioTulsa. As Nancy tells us, of all the "recommended reading" books she's written thus far in her career, this one was probably the most fun --- and the most difficult. And as has been noted of this work in the pages of Publishers Weekly: "Nancy Pearl's little gem will please many a traveler (or dreamer) who loves to read about faraway places but doesn't know where to start. With fanciful alliteration, Pearl lists titles under topics arranged from 'A is for Adventure' to 'Zipping through Zimbabwe.' Recommendations are accompanied by brief critiques and insights. In an entry for 'Las Vegas,' for example, Pearl recommends Chris Ewan's novel, 'The Good Thief's Guide to Vegas,' for fans of Hiaassen and Westlake, capers that use various cities of the world for their settings. Pearl classifies her recommendations well enough so that readers can take or leave her advice. In 'Africa,' for instance, she includes the classic 'Cry the Beloved Country' as well as contemporary mysteries such as 'Wife of the Gods.' It might have been easy to stick with the country structure for a book like this, but Pearl mixed it up, to good effect, with chapters like 'So We/I Bought (or Built) A House In ' which includes books about homes in Morocco, Mexico, France, Brazil, and Ireland. Pearl has produced a winner and the perfect bedside companion."